Harriet Wilcox Starr, devoted wife of 56 years to the late Robert Starr, loving mother of three daughters, and a talented artist and community volunteer, passed away peacefully on October 20, 2019, surrounded by her family. Born to Marguerite and Joseph Wilcox on May 8, 1927 in Keene, NH, Harriet grew up in Athol, MA. with her three siblings who are all deceased - Maude (who passed away at age 11 in 1936), Joe Wilcox formerly of Riverside, CT and Marion Kolbe formerly of Darien, CT.
In Athol, Harriet’s father’s company manufactured celluloid products as well as skis, allowing his children to ski at an early age, mostly on the hills they could find and climb in their community. However, the depression brought hard times to Harriet’s family and her father’s business requiring the family to relocate to Pelham, NY where her father’s engineering firm set up in the brand-new Empire State Building. Harriet worked at the firm on weekends and over summers during her high school and college years.
At Syracuse University, Harriet joined the ski team and studied art and design, earning a BFA in Interior Design. After graduation, she returned to New York City to work as a designer at several firms including The Sloane Company. On winter weekends she often enjoyed skiing taking the ski train from NYC to Stowe and returning Monday morning for work.
Harriet met her late husband Robert Starr through the Riverdale Ski Club in 1957 on a ski trip to Stowe. They married in 1958 and raised their family in Cos Cob, where they resided until 2013. In Greenwich, Harriet was an active member of the Junior Women’s Club, a deaconess of the First Congregational Church, and a volunteer at the Rummage Room and in Greenwich Public Schools. She enjoyed skiing and hiking with her family in the Berkshires, and the White and Green Mountains and eventually she and Bob purchased a second home in Franconia, which became a well-loved gathering place for family and friends to hike and ski Cannon Mountain, where the couple had honeymooned in 1958.
In 1983, Harriet joined a women’s painting group under the instruction of Norman Garbo, which painted together for 30 years. In 2014, the year of her husband’s passing, she had an exhibit of her paintings in Southbury, CT, in honor of her husband and the beautiful life they had together. Many paintings included her beloved grandchildren, some were of their home in New Hampshire; and others were of her favorite Greenwich places, the Mianus River, Tod’s Point and Binney Park.
Despite Harriet’s failing health in her last few years, her positive and inclusive attitude earned her many new friends and lifted the spirits of those around her. She had a song for every thought and mood, and was kind to everyone throughout her pain and suffering. “Count Your Blessings” and “Smile and The World Smiles with You” were her favorite sayings.
She will be missed dearly by her family, friends and all who knew her. She is survived by three daughters, Marguerite Starr (husband Bob Crawford) of Woodbury, CT; Natalie Starr of West Windsor, VT (husband David Putnam); and Sarah Starr (husband Stan Starr) of Hood River, OR; and six grandchildren. A celebration of Harriet’s life will be held in the spring in Old Greenwich, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Harriet’s name to the Friends’ of Greenwich Point or the First Congregational Church of Old Greenwich. Munson Lovetere Funeral Home assisted the family with the arrangements. To leave an online condolence for the family please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com
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